Digital pool games have long been popular casual gaming picks, and soon the genre will make the leap into the NFT world with Eyeball Pool, a game that lets players own and trade unique digital assets.
Created by startup Eyeball Games, the upcoming iOS and Android game will be built on Immutable zkEVM, the gaming-centric Ethereum scaling network created by Immutable Games in partnership with Polygon, using the Polygon zkEVM tech stack. The game is due out in Q1 2024 following the current beta testing period.
While Eyeball Pool is a completely new title, it’s being developed with help from a pair of longtime pool game developers—Karsten Niemeier and Thomas Elgaard—that worked on the original version of 8 Ball Pool from mobile publisher Miniclip. That enduring iOS and Android hit has been downloaded more than 1 billion times to date, Miniclip announced in 2022.
An early screenshot of Eyeball Pool seen above gives off a similar look and feel as 8 Ball Pool, but the Web3 twist means that players will be able to own and trade unique pool cues in the game, as well as potentially benefit from an in-game token.
“We want to fundamentally change the way our players interact with pool games,” Eyeball Games CEO Jonathan Ivarsson told Decrypt. “Players spend hours per week playing pool games. That level of dedication has spawned communities that include knowledge transfer, skill, influencers, and friendships. We want to develop an in-game ecosystem that befits these vibrant communities.”
Eyeball Pool was previously being developed on Cronos, the Crypto.com-led blockchain network that is interoperable with Cosmos and Ethereum. The startup previously released 4,001 “Balldroid” profile picture (PFP) NFTs tied to the game in January.
Those Balldroid NFTs, along with a new series of Balldroid NFTs set to launch on Ethereum scaling network Immutable X, will offer players in-game benefits such as exclusive items and in-game rewards. Those NFT holders will also be able to play an ad-free version of the game.
Ivarsson cited Immutable’s focus on gaming as a key reason for ultimately deciding to build Eyeball Pool on Immutable zkEVM as the game’s full launch nears in early 2024.
“We believe that there’s power in partnering with a specialized chain [versus] one that tries to fit all use cases,” he told Decrypt. “This will allow us to go to market faster, reach greater audiences, and make player onboarding easier.”